#661 – Every Object Has A ToString Method

Since every type inherits either directly or indirectly from System.Object, and System.Object has a ToString method, every object inherits a ToString method.

The ToString method is intended to return a string identifying or representing the object, i.e. that specific instance.  This is true for both value types and reference types.

For built-in types, ToString generally returns what you’d expect.  For example, for a System.Int32 (int), it returns the value of the integer.

For custom types, if you don’t override ToString and provide something more meaningful, ToString just returns a string representing the type of the object.

Dog kirby = new Dog("Kirby", 13);
Cow bessie = new Cow("Bessie");
int i = 12;
double d = 1.38e-23;
DayOfWeek bestDay = DayOfWeek.Saturday;
object o = new System.Object();
DateTime dt = new DateTime(1536, 5, 19);

// ToString can be called explicitly, or is called
// implicitly when passing object as string parameter
Console.WriteLine(kirby.ToString());   // Explicit
Console.WriteLine(bessie);             // Implicit
Console.WriteLine(i);
Console.WriteLine(d);
Console.WriteLine(bestDay);
Console.WriteLine(o);
Console.WriteLine(dt);

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About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

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